My daughter likes to walk around in my heels and wear my jewelry sometimes. It’s amusing to see her shuffling with the shoes, trying to keep her balance. The other day, I was wearing a sundress, and she asked me if she could have it when she was all grown up. I reassured her that everything I had would be hers one day. I love that she loves to dress up and that we share that common interest, but most importantly it reminds me of an important lesson: she wants to be like me.
It’s actually a humbling thing to realize that my children watch what I wear and what say, even when I don’t realize it. It’s one thing to say, “OK, honey, when you get angry, and you want to say mean things, take a deep breath and walk away.” It’s another thing to practice what I preach. How do I respond when I’m running out the door and her brother spills milk on the floor? Does she see a calm mommy who consoles brother and wipes up the mess…or does she see angry mommy who scolds brother and stomps away?
There have been nights when I am ashamed of how I have reacted to a situation. As I tuck her in bed, I say, “I’m sorry. Mommy should have said it in a nicer way. Mommy loves you.” I want her to know that I make mistakes and I am taking responsibility for my words. I have learned that being honest with my children shows them that I am human, too. One day, they will make mistakes, and they should be taught what apologizing looks like and that it is okay to be have sorrow for wrong behavior. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that “godly sorrow produces repentance.” While feeling remorseful can send anyone a downward spiral of condemnation, godly sorrow can lead to restoration. I want my kids to learn that, even at a young age.
I also do want to be that mommy who calmly deals with the curveballs so her little eyes can see me walk in grace. I pray for wisdom in those moments I feel like I will lose my cool, and God gives me discernment in those moments. I will be one of the most influential people in her life, and I want her to follow in footsteps of character and integrity. It’s a joy for me to lead, but a great responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I find that when I am strong in my relationship with God, my relationship with my children are strong, as well. The Bible is the most solid parenting book I can ever read, and when I am spending time in it, God give me pearls of wisdom that I can pass onto my sweet girl.
I love the words from the song from Phillips, Craig, and Dean, which say, “Lord, I want to be just like you, because he wants to be like me…”
My prayer is just that…”Lord, I want to be just like you, because she wants to be like me.”